The bane of Mordred, the son of Mordizan, and a millennia-old prophecy—together they may provide what Brinnie needs to defeat the world of magic’s greatest threat.
More than a year has passed since Brinnie left Wraithwood, never expecting to see it again. But when Mordred captures her sister, she is thrust back into the world of magic. She flees to Wraithwood, where she learns of a prophecy located in the dark wizard capital of Mordizan that reveals the identity of “Mordred’s bane,” something that could destroy Mordred for good.
Brinnie agrees to a rendezvous with Mordred to exchange herself for her sister, going undercover at Mordizan as a spy to find the prophecy and Mordred’s bane. There, she weaves a complicated web of secrets, lies, and tenuous friendships. She makes an unexpected ally in Marcus Vorath, son of the Master of Mordizan, who fears the implications of Mordred’s growing power. But in Mordizan, friends and foes may be one and the same.
In the midst of court intrigue, battle, ominous new depths to her power, and searching for Mordred’s bane, Brinnie struggles to draw the lines. How far is she willing to go to destroy Mordred? And how much of herself is she willing to give up along the way?
Crunching dirt gave way to rough stone as Brinnie stepped onto the bridge. The stream burbled beneath her, leaves twirling in the eddies, the woods serene.
The calm before the storm.
Brinnie fixed her eyes ahead. As she reached the middle of the bridge, she felt something like a ripple.
Where trees had once lined a dirt path on the other side of the bridge, a grassy plain stretched before her. In the distance, a stocky castle of the same stone as the bridge rose on the top of a hill, pennants flying from the battlements. Brinnie could just make out forms stationed on the wall. Ringing the castle from a safe distance were the tents of an enemy.
And in front of her, a guard station squatted at the other end of the bridge, manned by two sentinels in black and red livery.
Welcome to the dimension of magic. It appeared not much had changed in the past millennium. She was completely out of her depth. What did she know about any of this? Her heart beat faster.
“Halt.” The two sentinels lowered their spears.
She put her hands in the air, not moving from the center of the bridge. “I’m here to see Mordred.”
“Are you the shadowmaster?” the one on her left called.
“Prove it,” the other growled.
Hands shaking, she drew shadows to her and let them swirl into her hand, an eddy of darkness.
The first nodded and gestured toward their end of the bridge. “This way.”
Brinnie remained firmly in place. “Please tell Mordred that I’ll meet him here. And tell him to bring his prisoners for the trade.”
The first man laughed. “You didn’t think it would be that easy, did you?”
Leaves rustled behind her. She whirled to see six armed men emerge from the trees, two dropping from branches above.
Her heart pounded. A trap. They’d watched her approach. For how long? Did they know Uncle Merlin was here?
She forced her voice not to waver. “I was told this would be a peaceful exchange.”
The sentinel stepped forward. “You were told wrong.”
Brinnie backed away, arms out. She felt the shadows dappling the bridge around her beginning to stir. Good. She felt the ripple again—she’d backed out of the Alternate, but now, she could still see the landscape of that dimension. Evidently, once crossed, the Alternate became clear. Also good. The plan could still work. “You don’t want to do this,” she warned.
Her words went ignored. The men behind her strode forward, and the sentinels in front of her approached.
A hair-raising howl floated through the trees from outside the circle of men. The soldiers exclaimed as a dozen shadow wolves broke from the forest and wove between them to surround Brinnie in a circle, facing outward and growling.
She patted one with relief. Thanks, guys.
“Still have your little pets, I see.” The familiar voice sent chills up her spine.
Brinnie turned back toward the guardhouse. The sentinels stepped aside to let a tall figure pass. His black robes rippled, like some gaunt, dark priest. “Brynna Ludovic. A pleasure.”
The wolves snarled.
“Mordred.” She gestured to the men encircling her. “What is this?”
“A misunderstanding, I believe.” He glared at the sentinel on his right. “Under whose orders
have you accosted my guest?”
The man shrank away. “Master Vorath’s, sir.”
“Does he so fear a young girl that he would send half an army against her?”
The two sentinels exchanged nervous glances. “No, sir, but a shadowmaster—”
“So he fears one wizard?” Mordred’s gaze bored into him. “I didn’t take Vorath for a coward.” He waved a hand at the men advancing on Brinnie. “Dismissed.”
The soldiers stepped back, fading into the forest once more.
As they dispersed, Mordred smiled at her, revealing too-white teeth. “What would Arthur have thought if he knew that his line would give rise to a mistress of shadows?”
Alyssa Roat grew up in Tucson, Arizona, but her heart is in Great Britain. She has worked in a wide variety of roles within the publishing industry as an agent, editor, writer, and publicist. With 250+ bylines and 9+ books under contract in genres ranging from YA chat fiction to fantasy to sweet adult romance, you could say she dabbles in a bit of everything. Her name is a pun, which means you can learn more about her at www.alyssawrote.com or on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as @alyssawrote.